Medicare vs Medicaid

Medicare vs Medicaid

Senior Product Specialist, John Shinn discusses the differences between Medicare and Medicaid

Hey everybody, it’s John, here at Empower Brokerage again. There’s another great question of that  comes up a lot this time of year, and that’s, what’s the difference between Medicare vs Medicaid?

These are two really distinct, different government run programs: Medicare and Medicaid.

They have been around a long time. They were initially started in 1965 while President Lyndon Johnson was president. It was part of a grand vision, if you will, to take care of elderly, and really sick people, who could either not qualify for private insurance, or couldn’t pay for private insurance. It was a big deal in 1965 to come up with these great programs to help this particular part of our society.


The important thing to note here, is that Medicaid is not the same thing as Medicare. Medicare is a federal program only that provides health insurance and health coverage, for people age 65 and older, and for certain people with disabilities. When we think of Medicare, we think of when you turn 65. It’s part of an entitlement program that we all pay into. You could see 25 year old people and 45 year old people on Medicare with with serious illnesses. This program of Medicare comes in to help pay for that.


Medicaid is different than Medicare. It is a state and federal program that provides coverage for very low income people in our society. If you’re eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, in other words, if you worked enough hours (40 quarters to qualify for Medicare) and  you’re eligible for Medicaid because of your low income, that is what we call ‘low’ or ‘dual eligible’. You’ll hear that terminology. And that’s a program for if you have dual eligibility you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid then you’re going to be well taken care of. you’re going to have very good health coverage and that’s important. We think as a society to help take care of we all pitch in and contribute for the well-being of all the other citizens that we have in our country which is really a great thing that we have today.

So to figure out whether or not you qualify for Medicaid, it’s really very easy. You can go to, or to your local Social Security office where you can talk to somebody. Knowledgeable insurance agents are also good people to help you locate these documents to see if you qualify.

I hope that helps a little bit with all of the difference in Medicare and Medicaid. There’s quite a bit quite a bit to know about them but those are the basics.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below

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